COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina lawmakers negotiating big gaps between the House and Senate versions of the state budget have received a big gift as the state’s economy continued to do better than predicted.

Economists meeting Tuesday predicted that South Carolina can now expect to have about $950 million more in its bank accounts by the end of June from taxes and other revenue.

The House and Senate are about $1.3 billion apart on their budget plans with the biggest difference a $1 billion rebate senators want to send back to taxpayers.

Senate Finance President Harvey Peeler says lawmakers need to remember it is the people’s money. New House Speaker Murrell Smith says the General Assembly needs to prepare for a possible economic downturn.